In arguably its most impressive performance of the season, the Montesano girls basketball team played a complete game in defeating Adna 68-49 on Saturday in Montesano.
Monte (5-6 overall) used a late 6-1 run at the end of the first half to open up a 26-15 lead and used a red-hot third quarter to blow the game wide open.
The Bulldogs scored 26 points, including five three pointers, in a third-quarter blitz that quickly saw its lead balloon to 19 points by the end of the frame. Six different Monte players scored in the frame, led by junior guard Cassadie Golding, who hit all three 3-point shots she attempted in the period. McKynnlie Dalan also had a big quarter, scoring eight points in the frame, including two 3-pointers of her own.
Monte’s defense, which held a talented Adna team to just 15 points in the first half, swarmed and trapped the Pirates (8-2), forcing turnovers and challenging every Adna shot attempt.
“We’ve shown glimpses (of playing like this) the last couple weeks,” Montesano head coach Mark Mansfield said. “Last night against King’s Way Christian and tonight against Adna, we’re getting longer stretches where we’re doing a lot of good things. … I thought our defense fueled our offense, especially there in the second half.”
Monte kept its proverbial foot on the pedal in the fourth quarter, extending its lead to 24 points after senior center Zoe Hutchings, who was in foul trouble most of the game, grabbed an offensive rebound and scored to put Monte up 62-38 with 4:35 left in the game.
Mansfield called off the Bulldogs after that, resting the remainder of his starters over the last four-plus minutes of the game.
Paige Lisherness led Monte with 19 points, 13 of those coming in the first half. The sophomore winger hit eight field goals, many of those coming on cuts and drives to the basket.
Dalan had 14 points while Golding and Jordan Karr scored nine apiece for the Bulldogs.
Hutchings finished with eight points and had to sit for much of the game due to foul trouble, eventually fouling out late in the fourth quarter.
The win over an Adna team that had not lost until dropping a game to Toutle Lake on Thursday was a good sign for Mansfield, particularly with league play right around the corner.
“We talked over (Christmas) break with the four games that we had that we are still trying to develop our chemistry, whatever that is,” Mansfield said. “Not only with a new system, but we’re pretty young and I think that the more we play the more we’re getting that. I thought tonight was a step in the right direction as far as on-the-floor chemisty. … It’s a process and we’re hoping to keep improving. We start league next week and we want to improve come Tuesday night (in the league-opener against Hoquiam).”
Payton Aselton scored 20 points to lead the Pirates while Kaitlyn Todd added 10 points for Adna.
Adna 8 7 18 16 — 49
Montesano 14 12 26 16 — 68
Montesano 52, King’s Way Christian 37
Montesano’s Zoe Hutchings scored 23 points to lead the Bulldogs to a 52-37 victory over King’s Way Christian on Friday in Vancouver.
Monte (4-6) shot just 3-for-11 in the first quarter but found its footing and opened up a 42-21 lead by the end of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs defense held KWC (2-6) to a single point in the first quarter and 21 points through three quarters.
Paige Lisherness added 10 points for the Bulldogs.
The Knights’ Laurel Quinn and Kinsey Tindol led KWC with 14 and 10 points, respectively.
Montesano 7 14 21 10 — 52
King’s Way Christian 1 10 10 16 — 37
Montesano made the clutch plays at critical moments to earn a 58-55 victory over Centralia last Thursday in Centralia.
Leading 33-28 at the half, Montesano (6-4 overall) turnovers allowed Centralia to take a 55-51 lead after Matt House hit a 3-pointer, one of six he made in the second half.
But it was the Bulldogs that made the plays in crunch time. Trace Ridgway made two free throws to cut the deficit to 55-53. Wesley Bjornsgard then hit the shot of the game, drilling a clutch three to give Monte a 56-55 lead with just 16 seconds left in the game.
Centralia missed its chance to take the lead on the ensuing possession and, after Monte secured the rebound, tried to foul Bjornsgard in the corner after an inbound pass. But Bjornsgard found Ridgway in the low block, who scored to give Monte the 58-53 victory.
Four Bulldogs scored in double figures, led by Bjornsgard’s 16 points and nine rebounds.
Ridgway scored 12 point and grabbed eight boards. Braden Dohrmann scored 10 points and dished out five assists while Ben Wills added 10 points for Monte.
Elma 58, Eatonville 40
Elma overcame a slow start and got 17 points from Nick Church en route to a 58-40 win over Eatonville on Friday in Elma.
“We had a slow start and too many turnovers early, but our defense was solid throughout,” Elma head coach Jeff Niemi said. “We thought if we could keep getting stops, we’d go on a run and that run came in the fourth quarter.”
Elma outscored Eatonville 26-13 over the final eight minutes of the game.
The Eagles shot 50% from the field (18-36) including 7-of-15 from 3-point range while holding the Cruisers to 34% shooting (16-47).
Sawyer Witt added 15 points for Elma.
Eatonville 5 13 9 13 — 40
Elma 10 11 11 26 — 58